Insurance claims management specialist Crawford & Company has stepped into the ‘gig economy’ marketplace with a $36m acquisition for 85% of WeGoLook.
The online and mobile platform based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma deploys thousands of people from a nationwide network to inspect and verify information, helping clients make real time decisions.
Crawford announced the acquisition of a majority interest as a strategic investment to help it revolutionize, automate and expedite the claim handling process “by utilizing a large mobile workforce for automotive and property inspections.”
The acquisition of 85% of the membership interests of WeGoLook by Crawford, which is subject to certain conditions, has been approved by the Board of Directors of both companies for $36.125 million and is expected to close in early January 2017.
“I am very pleased to welcome WeGoLook’s employees, contractors, and customers to Crawford given the tremendous potential that I see as we combine WeGoLook’s innovative technology with Crawford’s global reach and client relationships,” commented Harsha V. Agadi, president and chief executive officer of Crawford & Company.
WeGoLook handles anything from automotive and property inspections to support the insurance industry as well as a broad range of general commerce transactions and verification of internet-based purchases. Crawford said its services will “unlock the large, underserved market for high frequency claims, reduce claim handling fees, and help guard against fraud.”
Mr. Agadi continued, “Looking forward, our industry will continue to experience rapid change which will require innovative thinking and further investment.”
To ensure that Crawford stays at the forefront of this change, we have created Crawford Innovative Ventures, LLC, which will be led by Ken Fraser, EVP, chief strategy and development officer of Crawford. This entity has been formed to invest in strategic acquisitions and partnerships that will support the Crawford strategic plan. This arm will be a catalyst for change across the property and casualty industry and Crawford worldwide, bringing about new thinking, innovation and adding to our growing entrepreneurial culture. WeGoLook is the first such strategic acquisition.”
Robin Smith, chief executive officer of WeGoLook commented, “I am very proud of the company that our team has built, as WeGoLook is among the fastest growing and most innovative gig economy companies in the U.S. We are excited about our new partnership as Crawford’s global brand recognition and client relationships will be invaluable as we grow our business. I could not be more excited with what the future holds, and I remain committed to the combined company.”
Mr. Fraser commented, “WeGoLook is a forward thinking, technological company that dispatches over 30,000 ‘Lookers’ to collect or verify information at the click of a button. A company like this gives us the mobility and manpower to serve as your feet on the street, delivering real-time efficient customized solutions needed to make informed decisions.
“WeGoLook fits perfectly into our global strategy of utilizing technology to become faster and more efficient as we strive to better serve our clients and grow our company. To that end, we plan to expand this business around the world, using our worldwide footprint and strong global property & casualty and TPA client relationships.”
Mr. Agadi concluded, “We are thrilled to be working with WeGoLook as the combination of our two companies will infuse Crawford with fresh ideas and expertise, as well as add an attractive brand with a business model for the future. Importantly, WGL will play a critical role in making Crawford grow at a much faster rate.”